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Stalin's three plans

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Mihais View Post
    2% of 24000 is still a lot of tanks compared to what the others had to offer.The concept itself did not fade away.The JS series late in the war.On the German side the Tiger I&II were also a small percentage,but they were the spearheads wherever they were on the offensive.


    Btw,related to the Soviet actions prior to the war. They may have ''tried'' not to provoke the Germans(although Soviet planes''mistakenly crossed German airspace).But on the Romanian border the provocations were rife.Smart chaps.A 200km push and the Soviets win the war against the Axis.
    In absolute numbers it is 405 char B1 compared to 503 t-28's.
    the difference is favor of the USSR made by the light tanks not the mediums.
    J'ai en marre.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by 1979 View Post
      In absolute numbers it is 405 char B1 compared to 503 t-28's.
      the difference is favor of the USSR made by the light tanks not the mediums.
      Not light tanks. That designation didn't really exist before WWII. What you are calling light tanks are actually four very different type classes of tanks. Cavalry, infantry, recon and tankette.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by zraver View Post
        Not light tanks. That designation didn't really exist before WWII. What you are calling light tanks are actually four very different type classes of tanks. Cavalry, infantry, recon and tankette.
        granted , albeit
        independent tank brigades in 1939 equip with both t-26 and bt were called (легкотанковая бригада ) lightarmored brigade.
        the term for t28 / t35 brigades being (тяжелая танковая бригада) heavy armored brigade .

        the point being that even the french had offensive weapons on 1940 despite planing to fight a defensive campaign .
        personally i can think of using the t-28/35 even in the case of defensive operations .

        for instance attacking the flanks of a enemy penetration (as the french did at Stonne 15-17 may 1940 ) .
        J'ai en marre.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by 1979 View Post
          granted , albeit
          independent tank brigades in 1939 equip with both t-26 and bt were called (легкотанковая бригада ) lightarmored brigade.
          the term for t28 / t35 brigades being (тяжелая танковая бригада) heavy armored brigade .

          the point being that even the french had offensive weapons on 1940 despite planing to fight a defensive campaign .
          personally i can think of using the t-28/35 even in the case of defensive operations .

          for instance attacking the flanks of a enemy penetration (as the french did at Stonne 15-17 may 1940 ) .
          Yes but these employments were necessitated by circumstance, not intended by design. Generally until the massive numbers of Soviet assault tanks in 44-45 the larger gun and thicker armor of the assault tank meant more dead light tanks but overall defeat for the side with assault tanks.

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          • #65
            One thing to which Solonin minimally refers is the Germans' and Italians' strategic activity in the Mediterranean theatre.

            I'm surprised that, given the amount of favourable attention paid on these discussion boards to possible Mediterranean alternate scenarios, no has yet brought up the question of how Soviet appreciation of those possibilities may have affected their reasoning concerning a possible 1941 conflict between themselves and Germany.

            We all know that Raeder and others were urging Hitler to pursue an aggressive grand strategy against the British. The prizes of Suez, Gibraltar, Malta, and Mosul are all easy to see on the map. The Italians had a significant surface fleet, and there were possibilities of Spanish and Vichy French cooperation as well.

            Let's sit in Stalin's chair for a few minutes, have a bite of his famous American-style cold lunch, and look at a few among the heap of manila folders stacking up on his desk in early '41:

            1. The Germans talked to Molotov about possible combined operations against Britain in late 1940.

            2. Soviet agents in France would certainly be reporting on current German offers to Petain and Franco (since Vichy was riddled with Comintern spies, and the Vichy gov't was informed of the meeting at Hendaye between Hitler and Franco).

            3. Soviet agents in Istanbul would be relating details of German approaches to Inonu. The competing offers from Germany and Britain were known throughout the diplomatic community in Turkey.

            4. Facts on the ground: Axis offensives in Cyrenaica and the Balkans in spring '41, culminating in attacking Crete in May '41. While a Balkan offensive definitely could be preliminary to an attack on the USSR, in combination with everything else it appears no less a part of a Mediterranean strategy.

            5. More gunpowder facts. In May 1941 there is also German assistance to the Iraqi revolt and clashes between the British and French along the borders of Syria. The British had already attacked the French fleet in Algeria the previous June, as well as making a failed attempt to capture Dakar by coup de main in September.


            Regarded in light of all the above:

            A. Can it be terribly surprising that Stalin was prone to discount British warnings of an imminent German attack on the USSR? Would their claims not seem to be made transparently for the purpose of prematurely embroiling the USSR in a war with the Axis?

            B. The slow but careful buildup of Soviet forces in the West is thus easily explained, not by theory of some sort of attack from a standing start, but simply as what it was: a gradual buildup of strength in the West, with no urgency to get ready to launch an imminent attack, nor urgency for immediate defense. "Prepare but don't provoke" sums it up nicely.

            C. The German buildup in Poland, some details of which were being reported by the spy rings later known as the "Red Orchestra," would have seemed to be a precautionary deterrent--the German counterpart to what Stalin was himself doing, while the offensive Axis effort was evidently being made elsewhere. How many historians, when discussing the German invasion of the Balkans, raise the question of its deceptive effect on the Soviet command?

            D. Solonin's researches are all in Soviet general staff papers. But the intelligence from agents abroad would have come up by a separate command chain. Note that the names "Beria" or "Malenkov" never appear in Solonin's article, although their importance in defense matters is plain from the fact that both those men were immediately made part of the newly formed GKO upon the war's outbreak. I bet Solonin has never had access to any of the contemporary NKVD files, so he's probably missing a considerable amount of what Stalin actually had on his mind.

            E. There was one thing that would have stuck out like a sore thumb even at that time: What about our man in Tokyo?. Richard Sorge, although only a low-level spy with contacts in the German embassy in Japan, was already warning of German intentions to attack the USSR. Sorge's report in early '41 would have seemed like an outlier on the chart--a little black dot placed well outside the bell curve of other data. But having ignored Sorge in the spring of 1941, Stalin most certainly did not ignore him in fall of 1941. When Sorge told his government that Japan would not attack the USSR, Stalin trusted him fully.

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            • #66
              The funny thing is that the thesis of a med strategy gets more credence with the british audience than the germans.
              Almost as ironic as shipping huge amounts of oil to Lybia... if only they had known they were standing on top of it .
              J'ai en marre.

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